The Memphis Grizzlies will head to Houston as both teams come off a loss on the first night of a back-to-back. To refresh your memory, the Rockets lead the series 2-1 this season after stealing an overtime win in Memphis on December 26th. The Grizzlies need to summon the best of themselves tonight if they want to keep Houston's hands off their 2nd seed in the West.
Recently for Memphis
I'm only halfway joking and halfway serious on this one. These are still the Memphis Grizzlies (I think...bodysnatching has not been officially ruled out), but the tease of progression we saw in Minnesota the other night was apparently a mirage. It's hard for me to get too worked up over last night's loss to the Jazz considering they were without Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, and Beno Udrih, but there comes a time when you'd like to see your title-contending team not struggle mightily with the worst teams in the league, even if the T-Wolves and Jazz aren't the scrubs they were 3 months ago.
The Grizzlies HAVE to win or go down looking competitive tonight in Houston. I wrote a while back about how their losses are becoming increasingly unsettling -- it's time to strap on the work boots again fellows.
Recently for the Rockets
Houston ended a 5-game winning streak last night in Atlanta, but you can easily write off that loss due to the absence of MVP candidate James Harden (suspended for kicking LeBron James in his LBJs). Trevor Ariza had a nice month of February, averaging a season-high 14.8 PPG, but he hasn't even scored a combined 14 points in the two contests Houston's had so far in March. Houston has plenty of other weapons to throw at the Grizzlies such as Terrence Jones and Grizz Killers Corey Brewer and Jason Terry. Many Grizzlies fans will also remember getting torched by...gulp... Josh Smith when he debuted for the Rockets in their last matchup with Memphis.
What to watch for tonight
It's imperative that the Grizzlies start the game with some semblance of cohesion on offense. If they come out firing duds tonight, this game could be over by halftime. Mike Conley has got to find his shot, and the Grizzlies have to be aggressive in the paint. Although many of us would like to see him go back to starting, Tony Allen should come off the bench like a bull prepped for the rodeo. So Memphis will at least have their prime mitochondria available in case they need a jolt of energy.
|2015 NBA Season
42-17 (19-10 road)
41-19 (20-8 home)
|March 4th, 2015
|Toyota Center in Houston, TX
|7:00 PM CDT|
|Fox SportSouth / 92.9 FM ESPN
|Mike Conley||PG||Patrick Beverley|
|Courtney Lee||SG||James Harden|
|Zach Randolph||PF||Donatas Montiejunas|
|Marc Gasol||C||Terrence Jones|
|2015 Advanced Stats|
|94.2 (26th)||Pace||99.0 (3rd)|
|103.6 (11th)||OffEff||103.4 (13th)|
|100.2 (7th)||DefEff||99.8 (T-3rd)|